Thursday, December 31, 2009

Slave to None, Servant of All

I had a great lunch today with a friend I hadn't seen since college.  It never ceases to amaze me that, after swapping the "how did you get here from there" stories,  you can just pick right back up as if no time has passed.  

She's a few weeks into her second trimester with her first child and she shared an interesting observation.  She said that now she understands why humans have such a long gestation's to give you the time you need, time to come to terms with and grieve over the loss of your own freedom.  

Yeah, I let that soak in as I was driving back.  It's true.  You're giving up your life for this kid on the way.  You will never again have the freedom you did before.  Every decision you make for YEARS will directly affect this new life.  I think it's easy to recognize the obligation of responsibility parents assume when they choose to bring a child into the world.  What I see now more than ever, is the sacrifice.  Parents (good parents, I dare say) give up their rights to serve themselves and agree to serve in the best interest of their child.  Even when it means they may suffer some, they always choose what serves their child's best interest.

Then I thought about Christ, how he chose to be a servant.  Jesus wasn't even a parent, yet he chose to be a servant, to everyone.  He was Lord of All, subject to none, and yet he chose to serve.  All the power and sovereign authority of God, the Father, and he still chose to serve.  He gave up all the rights to himself, and served everyone.  

Jesus was the original Servolutionary.  He was slave to none, and servant of all.  

As we leave another year, another decade, and begin this new year of 2010, may we all be so bold.  May we be bold enough to serve each other, to serve others we don't know, to meet a need just because it needs meeting.  


Monday, December 21, 2009


A while back I signed up to be a part of a blog tour for Mark Batterson's new book, Primal.  I'm not far into the book and I can already see things I've heard our own senior pastor, Mike Glenn, say but with a fresh spin on it.  This is a good thing to me because A) I like Mike and his style of teaching, B) These fresh spins are obviously good things, reiterating truths I need to sink deeper and C) Two teachers, one in Tennessee and one in Washington, D.C., teaching the same thing serve as confirmation for each other.

Some of the common teachings I am hearing in Mark's book are:

  • we have forgotten how inconvenient it is to follow in the footsteps of Christ
  • we are the ones who complicate Christianity
  • Christians are more known for what we're against than what we're for
  • most of us know what we believe but not why we  believe it
  • people don't wanna hear what you have to say until you meet their needs first (compassion before truth)
  • what comes out when you get squeezed? (reactions reveal what's in your heart) toothpaste comes out of a tube of toothpaste, does Jesus come out of you?
I enjoyed reading the short history of the beginnings of World Vision, a cause near and dear to my heart.  Mark poses the question to us: "What will kill you if you don't do it?"  He dares us to consider what our true passion, or compassion as he says, is.   He dares us to search this out, because once you know, "You can't not do something about it."

I flipped towards the end of the book to read a bit there (quite Mike-like for those of you who know him) and read a section entitled "Beyond Reasonableness."  Quite appropriate for me, for those of you who know me.  I'm usually a logic girl.  I like things to make sense.  However, I am finding lately that it is when things make the least human sense that they make the most God-sense, if you will.  In this section of Primal, Mark quotes Yann Martel saying, "I was sick to death of reasonableness."  Feels quite freeing to agree with that statement.  Mark goes on to pose that so many of us limit God to our senses and our logic, naturalism and rationalism.  He says, "As a result, our soul shrinks to the size of our senses, our mind shrinks to the size of our logic."  Then, he poses a question to ponder, "Do you have any God ideas that are being held ransom to reasonableness?"

Sick to death of reasonableness, indeed.  I definitely look forward to reading the rest of this book.  I am challenged to have fresh faith unhindered by the constrictions of logic, sense, and other things that may have been built on top but are unnecessary (see ch. 1 for that reference!), things that are hiding the true, primal nature of my faith that yearns to shine through.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

help my unbelief

I soooo want to be able to live in complete trust and faith above any circumstances that come, as I have been being challenged to do.  I want to rest completely in Jesus' grip knowing that whatever comes, He is able and He is sovereign and nothing else matters.

Today, I am not that girl.  Today, I am like the man we talked about this morning in Mark 9 who brings his boy to Jesus to be healed.  He believes, yet his son has been afflicted from childhood and no one, not even the disciples, have been able to heal him.  He pleads with Jesus, "If you can..." and Jesus laughs (I believe) and replies "If I can? All things are possible to him who believes."  The father cries, "I do believe, help my unbelief!"

I am this man today.  The twelve inches between my head and my heart seem so far apart. I hear Jesus saying in that "Are you kidding me?" tone of Mark 9, 'don't you remember all I've brought you through?  Do you not remember how I've provided before?'  

I do remember.   Indeed You are faithful.  What I know in my heart conflicts with what I see in my head.  Jesus, I need your eyes to color how I see my circumstances.  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

Come, every soul by sin oppressed, there's mercy with the Lord;
and he will surely give you rest, by trusting in his Word.
Only trust him, only trust him, only trust him now.
He will save you, he will save you, he will save you now.

Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou are calling, Do not pass me by.

Let me at a throne of mercy Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition, Help my unbelief.

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou are calling, Do not pass me by.